NSW budget to fix industrial disputes

·3-min read

The NSW government will try to resolve the industrial unrest spreading among the state's frontline workers with one budget announcement, but not before teachers go on strike.

Teachers are preparing to strike again on Wednesday after walking off the job for the first time in over a decade in December.

The NSW Teachers Federation says teachers are fed up with stagnating pay rates amid high inflation as their workloads spiral.

The NSW government has capped public service pay increases to 2.5 per cent, but the teachers union is agitating for two hours extra planning time a week with a pay rise between five and 7.5 per cent.

Industrial disputes involving teachers and several other public sector employees like nurses, paramedics and train drivers will be addressed in the upcoming state budget, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday.

"There are industrial issues in every sector of the public service - I'm dealing with those issues holistically," he said.

The "incredibly disappointing" decision to strike on Wednesday would inconvenience parents and students, and the teachers union did not consult with the government about it beforehand, he added.

The union and its members were similarly disappointed that the government had not taken the opportunity to negotiate after industrial action was suspended in term one, NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said.

"We were left with no alternative but to recommit to the full range of strategies available," Mr Gavrielatos told AAP on Monday.

Mr Perrottet said the strike would not achieve their desired results.

"The position will not change," Mr Perrottet said.

The government is working through the issues and will have a budget announcement addressing all public service disputes.

"I can't assure you the union will be happy with the response," Mr Perrottet said.

"Ultimately we need to make sure we balance wages, fair and reasonable pay increases, with the challenges with the budget."

He has accused the unions and the state Labor opposition of playing politics amid multiple industrial disputes between the government and its workers.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns said on Monday that if the premier was going to address the disputes in the budget by making changes to public sector pay then that should be communicated to workers now, which could potentially prevent industrial action continuing.

But promised future action won't stop strikes in the meantime.

"Public servants in this state are not clairvoyant, they don't know what's in the budget and it's not explained to them," Mr Minns said.

"Let us all in on the secret because no one wants strikes and potentially we could avoid them," he said.

The budget is not due to be handed down until next month but the education department has a number of dates with the union in the Industrial Relations Commission before then.

Before the commission is a new award rate that Mr Gavrielatos said would enforce a 2.04 per cent cap on teacher salaries at a time when inflation is more than double that, while failing to address crippling workloads.

"The government is saying one thing on one hand but proceeding down a path that will inflict a real wage cut with the other," Mr Gavrielatos said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting